Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Hotels Join Airlines in Adding on Fees

As if the add-on fees to airfares aren't bad enough, now it appears that hotels are trying to get a piece of the action.
KSL Newsradio reports that hotels are increasingly adding on fees that were once provided at no-charge to hotel guests.  These include fees for the fitness room, hospitality fees, maid service fees, early arrival fees, and increased fees for room service. 
The fees are frequently disguised under the benign sounding "resort fee," with no break down provided.  Guests have been complaining that these mandatory fees are not quoted, or even mentioned, at the time of booking. 
The Marriott Hotel seems to be fighting the add-on trend, and has gone to an all-inclusive pricing structure.  The fees may still be there, be sure to ask, but you at least know what the total price is right up front.  No surprises at checkout.
The moral of story is: ask, ask, ask.  And if you feel that you have not been adequately informed of the price of your room, ask for an adjustment on your bill.  If the front desk personnel cannot waive the fees, ask to speak to the manager on duty.  If that doesn't solve the problem, write to the general manager upon your return home.


Phil said...

Yeah, but sometimes you don't get a lot of detail when you're booking on Priceline or Cheaprooms, and calling isn't always an option.

Astroprof said...

I am surprised that they don't also have a room reservation fee, or a fee to talk to someone at the front desk. I have found several that charge to use the phone (sometimes even more than roaming charges on my cell phone!). Then there is the hotel occupancy tax. Many localities decide to sock it to visitors to pay for the local stadium, convention center, etc. That can sometimes add significantly to the lodging costs.

"omis" said...

I've been in a couple--Hyatt, Hilton, others--that charge to put your leftovers from the restaurant in the room fridge! A fridge charge, for Pete's sake!

I've also seen these hotels charge for more of the crappy coffee they have in your room, or for toilettries you may have forgotten.

While these other high-end hotels have fabulous beds, Holiday Inn, I've found, consistently doesn't have these charges, and even has those little placards that say, "If you've forgotten anything, or if you'd like more coffee, we'll be happy to bring it up to your room."

number4of5 said...

I will never figure out why companies don't just charge one price (even if it is more) and incluse all of these things for "free." It is all about illusion...yes, I paid for the frozen watermellon by the pool at the fancy hotel, but I didn't pay for it with any add on charges.

There should be one price and it should include everything. Otherwise, people get bitter and feel like they are being cheated. Airlines should be able to get that by now.

Fly Girl said...

Phil: I know that some of the "auction" sites don't include or list those additional charges. That's one reason that I tend to avoid those sites, unless the price is so cheap that it doesn't matter.

Astroprof: Actually the local hotel tax doesn't make me as crazy as the other "fees." The taxes were passed by the municipality, apply to everyone, and are quoted at the time of making a reservation. So I know what to expect. It's those fees that I don't know about that make me very cranky.

Fly Girl said...

Omis: I've always thought the fridge charge is totally ridiculous! They say it's because guest who bring their own stuff don't use the mini-bar. I say that guests bring their own stuff because the mini-bar is so ridiculously over-priced. But hey -- that's just me!

Number 4of5: I'm with you. One price for everything. What is so difficult about that?!

Rachel said...

I have never heard of a fridge charge! That is just crazy. I would fight that one tooth and nail.

Fly Girl said...

Some of the hotel refrigerators have sensors in it to tell if you've moved anything. So, if you move a soda to put in something of your own, you get charged for it.